Beyond Glorantha


I am looking forward to running a Runequest game. I've thought about adapting Drow War to runequest, with a twist.

My twist is that part of the action takes place in the setting world of Ashfar, and part of it on Glorantha. Part of the action may also take place in other worlds of the Gloranthaverse.

Which causes me to think about what there could be in the Gloranthaverse. If the Gloranthaverse is as rich as our universe, there would be more than just different settings to adventure in.

I remember from the original book that Glorantha was described as a "lozenge" floating in an infinite sea. Building on that basis, I envision a tremoundous layer of water (trillions of miles thick) above a layer of ooze (also trillions of miles thick) above a layer of rock above a layer of metal. Above the water there is a layer of air (also trillions of miles thick), then a layer of mist, then a layer of flame. Most worlds (which may be as large as 20 million miles across or more or as small as a stereotypical island with a palm tree and just enough room to lie down upon) would be at a layer boundary, but other worlds could be found within the layers. The worlds in the air could be the planets while the ones at the air/mist boundary could be the stars.

The way I see it, most worlds in the Gloranthaverse would be literally god-forsaken, washed over by elemental storms that make long-term survival on the world a rather dicey proposition. Others would be stabilized by non-human gods for the benefit of creatures that have little or no relation to humanity. (Shades of Cthulhu?) Still others would be created for the benefit of humans or other humanoids.

Now everything in the Gloranthaverse has to be there for a reason (or is naturally occuring, such as the god-forsaken worlds described above). So if there is a coconut creme pie 200,000 miles across, then somebody had to have put it there. For a reason. The Gloranthaverse is as large as our own universe, so there is plenty of room for a 200,000 mile diameter pie. There just needs to be one tremendous baker.

I come here for ideas for what could be found in the Gloranthaverse, once the shores of Glorantha are left millions of miles behind. There could be lost ships, of course. Land masses of various sizes. I've thought of a few other things:

* A giant chapel, built by some deity to honor His Holy Self.

* Icebergs of various sizes. (And by now it should be clear the range of size scales that I can be thinking of.)

* An "archworld" consisting of a networked structure of arches towering thousands of miles above the Infinite Ocean.

* Farships powered by some analog of nuclear fusion, advanced enough to travel the Infinite Ocean at astonishing velocities.

* Submerged continents slightly or considerably below the surface of the Infinite Ocean.

* Massive ships large enough for a city or even an entire nation.

* Living organisms the size of continents.

* Elemental phenomenon in the skies that may serve as planets, comets, nebula and other astronomical phenomenon.

Any other thoughts, ideas, or cries of outrage?
Nah, it's only about as big as our universe. (Then again, scientists are not sure whether our universe is infinite or merely very, very large.)

But I figure a sphere of water 250,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 miles across gives me plenty of room to put things in.
Chaosiums' 'Atlas of the Young Kingdoms' described Elric's world as a lozenge floating on a sea of Chaos, so you could probably include the Moorcockian Multiverse. A lot of interesting stuff in all the various stories and supplements, and you wouldn't have to do much conversion.
Utgardloki said:
Nah, it's only about as big as our universe. (Then again, scientists are not sure whether our universe is infinite or merely very, very large.)

I thought nowadays they were pretty sure it was finite, bounded, but exeedingly large and expanding faster than the speed of light.
I figure that if I'm going to create a Gloranthaverse, I need some organization; otherwise it is just a list of settings and places.

I've started to arrange the different worlds into giant archipelagos trillions of miles long. These archipelagos are divided into "constellations" hundreds of billions of miles across -- these are the equivalent of solar systems in our own universe.

The archipelagos are arranged in galaxies about the size of galaxies in our own universe.

The most important thing is moving between worlds. A world with high enough technology can develope something like a nuclear-powered skimmer to cross the infinite ocean. Others may cross the distances using spells or magic items; short trips would be easier and cost less POW than long trips, but I need to see the rules before I can come up with a good mechanism.

Since I plan to be running Drow War, I will probably also give the Drow some sort of "worm tunnel" technology to create tunnels leader to other worlds.

Another useful thing would be a map. PCs with a map would find it easier to know where they can go and how they can get there. A trip from Oerth to Glorantha might be too far in one jump, but if they can find little islands in between, they might be able to make the trip by island hopping. Of course, that can have its own perils.

Now I have to select a few settings that would be in Glorantha's Constellation, i.e., Glorantha's nearest neighbors.

I am considering Ashfar, of course, since that is the setting for Drow War. Avalon, which would be based on Arthurian mythology. Probably one based on random inspiration constructed by Fractal Terrains. I'll probably put in one called Islar, which is a world dominated by dragons and dinosaurs. I'm not sure what else.